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Lloyd's of London Exhibits Exclusive Nelson Collection as Part of Trafalgar Celebrations

London &endash; August XX, 2005 &endash; Americans travelling to the United Kingdom this fall will have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to view a unique exhibit highlighting one of Britain's most revered military heroes.

Lloyd's has been insuring maritime risks for over 300 years, and remains the world's leading maritime insurance market. For the first time, it is presenting publicly a unique collection of items relating to Vice Admiral Lord Horatio Nelson that vividly recall his naval victories and his links with Lloyd's, including a number of artefacts hidden from view for centuries.

A complete set of Nelson's seven signatures marking key stages in his life will be on display at the exhibit, which was commissioned by Lloyd's to celebrate the bicentenary of the Battle of Trafalgar on October 21, 1805. That victory, according to military historians, ushered in England's dominance of the seas for the next century.

The exhibit will also include letters from the Lloyd's Collection with transcriptions, revealing details of daily life at that time and Nelson's heroism in battle, and brings together a wealth of silver and other objects relating to Nelson and the Lloyd's Patriotic Fund.

It will be on public display at the Corporation of London's Guildhall Art Gallery from October to the end of the year

The collection of signatures demonstrates how the vaunted hero changed his signature several times following key moments in his life, most notably after losing his right arm in 1797 during an operation to capture the town of Santa Cruz in the Canary Islands. During that attack, Nelson lost his arm while leading one of the landing parties in an attempt to assault the town frontally.

Nelson biographer Dr. Colin White, of London's National Maritime Museum, said: "This fascinating group of signatures gives us pointers to key moments in Nelson's life. It's great to know that all seven will be displayed together in the exhibition."

Horatio Nelson (1758-1805) is generally regarded as the greatest officer in the history of the Royal Navy. His reputation is based on a series of remarkable victories, culminating at the Battle of Trafalgar where he was killed in his moment of triumph. The poet Byron referred to him as 'Britannia's God of War'.

In addition to the exhibition

A creative collaboration - "Writing on Water"

Commissioned by Lloyd's and curated by Artwise, Writing on Water is an exciting example of partnership between business and the arts. Award-winning movie director and artist Peter Greenaway has teamed up with American composer David Lang and the London Sinfionetta to create a unique audio-visual work called Writing on Water, inspired by the Nelson bicentenary, Lloyd's tradition of innovation and risk-taking, and man's relationship with the sea. It will be performed publicly at Queen Elizabeth Hall in London on 29 October following its premiere to an invited audience at Lloyd's on 15 September. Lloyd's has received a grant from UK Government-sponsored charity Arts & Business New Partners for the project.

Commemorative Book

A special commemorative boxed book set is being produced to explore the exhibition and the creative collaboration. Comprising individual pieces on the history of Nelson, the silverware of Lloyd's Nelson Collection, letters from the Collection, and the background to Writing on Water, it will be available later in the year.

Key dates for the Nelson exhibit:

September 15 Premiere of Writing on Water, opening of Lloyd's Nelson Collection Exhibition at Lloyd's, 1 Lime Street for invited guestsFollowing September 15Lloyd's Nelson Collection Exhibition at Lloyd's

Early October to end of yearLloyd's Nelson Collection Exhibition at the Corporation of London's Guildhall Art GalleryOctober 29Performance of Writing on Water at Queen Elizabeth Hall

About Lloyd's

Lloyd's is the world's leading specialist insurance market with a capacity to accept insurance premiums of more than £13.7 billion in 2005. It occupies sixth place in terms of global reinsurance premium income, and is the second largest surplus lines insurer in the US. In 2005, 62 syndicates are underwriting insurance at Lloyd's, covering all classes of business from more than 200 countries and territories worldwide. Lloyd's is regulated by the Financial Services Authority. Its website is www.lloyds.com

For further information, to request interviews with Lord Levene, Peter Greenaway, or David Lang, or for images, please contact Lloyd's:

e-mail:Steve Farrance

+44 (0) 20 7327 6096

+44 (0) 20 7327 5229

steve.farrance@lloyds.com Louise Shield

+44 (0) 20 7327 5793

+44 (0) 20 7327 5229

louise.shield@lloyds.comIn the United States

Thor Valdamis (212) 382-4088 (O)

(917) 862-0875 (M)

Ed Orgon, The Torrenzano Group

(212) 681-1700

(917) 539-4000For all calls out of hours

+44 (0) 7659 597 825


The signatures on display will be:

Horatio Nelson

ܧ Nelson's signature shortly after going to sea in 1771.

Horatio Nelson

ܧ Same name, different signature. Nelson now had to learn to write left-handed after losing his right arm when wounded during the failed attack on Santa Cruz de Tenerife in July 1797.


ܧ This came following his elevation to peerage as Baron Nelson as a reward for his victory at the Battle of the Nile on August 1, 1798. He began signing himself simply 'Nelson' as was customary.

Bronte Nelson

ܧ Nelson changed his signature to this after the King of Naples made him the Duke of Bronte on August 13, 1799 as a reward for his services. Although not unique, it was rare for English peers to gain peerage abroad.

Bronte Nelson of the Nile

ܧ On 21 March 1800, Nelson learned that his full English title included the words 'of the Nile', and so he started using this extended signature instead.

Nelson & Bronte

ܧ When he returned to England in November 1800, it was pointed out to Nelson that it was tactless to use a foreign title over his English one. There followed a brief period of uncertainty until, in January 1801, he settled for Nelson & Bronte, which became the signature he used for the rest of his life.

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